A NEW bus route creating a link between Leigh and Southend Airport could be introduced thanks a huge grant from the Government.

Southend Council has received its second and final instalment of a £900,000 grand to improve public transport for residents across the borough.

According to Paul Collins, councillor responsible for finance, assets and investments, the funding will be used to create a new bus route from Leigh, through Eastwood, and onto the airport.

The route is currently being costed by council officers until 2025 and will then go to tender.

If plans go ahead, the route would go from Southend Airport, through Whitehouse Road, Rayleigh Road, Progress Road, down through Belfairs, into Leigh and onto Leigh train station.

Mr Collins said: “This is a very positive step; we are very pleased.

“There is no alternative to getting two or three buses or two trains to the airport, there is no train link, so we are providing something which doesn’t currently exist.

“There is no use in making an Eastwood to Leigh route, it would flounder, and we need reasons to run the route to Leigh, linking us together to the airport allows us to target passengers, it would make it more successful.

“The route will need to be commercially successful and putting it where there is currently no service, down Progress Road and Belfairs into Leigh is covering our gaps.”

Mr Collins added that the council wishes to “latch onto” the current improvement in the airports , “We want this service to join onto other services, to go to the same stops that the Stansted Bus goes to, to connect other services together.

“This will be the largest project we can do; we can do nothing as grand with this funding except make smaller amendments to the evening services, such as the 24 bus from Southchurch.

“This new route is a great way to go though and it is an ambition of ours, it is key to us and it will serve residents well.”